Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rhubarb Mini Muffins

Rhubarb is often stereotyped as a "pie-only" food. Granted, it's not the most versatile fruit in the world (it is technically classified as a fruit if you didn't know) and, yes, its leaves are toxic which makes it even less practical, but its tart, tangy flavor can be utilized in so many different ways. Like, for instance, in these mini muffins!

Also, did you know that rhubarb is a strong natural laxative? I bet you didn't! Yep, the stems and roots have been used for centuries as tummy aids. So move over prunes!

Alright, to the muffins. These muffins are sweetened with agave and maple syrup and have a great tangy flavor because of the rhubarb. I also added lemon juice and a couple teaspoons of rosewater to give them some complexity. They turned out delicious-not too sweet-and the flax seed made them nice and fluffy :)

Rhubarb Mini Muffins
Yields about 24 mini muffins
  • 2 cups whole wheat white flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • scant 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 2 "flax eggs" (6 Tbsp water and 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds whisked and set aside for about 5-10 minutes) or other egg replacer if you have it!
  • 5 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tsp rosewater
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb (should be in small strips - 1/2 inch or so)
Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Grease a mini muffin tin (or two if you have two)

In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients until just combined.

In your mixer, combine the soy milk, agave nectar, maple syrup, oil, and flax egg and mix together on medium for about a minute.

With the mixer on low, slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet ones. Then add the lemon juice, rosewater and vanilla extract and continue to mix for another minute or until a pretty looking batter is created. There should be few to no lumps. The mixture will be a little sticky; don't worry, it's because you are substituting agave and syrup for the sugar. It may not be perfectly pourable but you can use a spoon to coerce it into your muffin tins.

When the batter is ready, take your chopped rhubarb and toss it into a small saute pan with just a touch of oil. Saute it for about 5-6 minutes or until the rhubarb begins to soften and "sweat." This is a great tip my dad taught me to help the rhubarb release some of its juice BEFORE you put it into your baked concoction in the oven. If you do this before making a pie, it will come out a lot less runny!

Fold the sauteed rhubarb into your batter until just combined. Spoon the batter into the muffin tins and bake for about 13-15 minutes!

The rhubarb has a great texture and flavor in the muffins. It off sets the lemony-mapley-rose goodness so nicely. See the little strings! What a funny fruit. 

A wonderful, non-pie summer treat!

Live ling and prosper. And get creative with your rhubarb!


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